With apologies to the “Cheers” theme song, sometimes you don’t wanna go where everybody knows your name.
Sometimes you just need to get the heck out of Dodge.
weekend the A Parent in Silver Spring crew jumped into the car with our swimsuits, jeans, sneakers and groceries and headed to Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. This beautiful and convenient spot for a weekend jaunt is family favorite of ours, and a secret that we are very happy to share.
The family packages are perfect planners for when you need to blow town and explore a nearby but special location, like Williamsburg, together. Last weekend my crew and I experienced a taste of the Christmas Town Package at Kingsmill, which combines two nights in a seriously beautiful Kingsmill condo with passes to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.
After piling our five-person family into many a tiny hotel room, having the space to spread out, relax, play and prepare our meals was sheer heaven. Kingsmill is a AAA Diamond Condominium Resort, and these condo accommodations are divine. The one-bedroom condos can easily host a family with 3-4 children, and a two- and three-bedroom condos can sleep bigger families so comfortably. The daily rate on the condos is comparable to other hotels in the region but you get so much more space!
Us frugal parents enjoyed not having to eat all of our getaway meals in restaurants, and enjoyed several cozy meals at the dining table, prepared in the full kitchen. The kids declared this experience “like a beach house!” With the James River twinkling outside the windows, it truly was a waterfront retreat, something we had not before enjoyed in December.
Kingsmill Resort Winter Fun for Families
The holidays are jubilantly celebrated at Kingsmill, with carolers and cocoa in the lobby, s’mores in the outdoor firepit, towering trees full of ornaments and gold fairy lights everywhere. Our kids loved the atmosphere and also the special winter activities available. Friday nights the resort offers “Dive In Movies” with family films shown on a big screen above the indoor pool. Charlie, Eve and Alice floated on rafts while watching Home Alone, and Chris and I had a little vino deckside watching them. There is also a stocked concession stand with hot popped popcorn to make the party complete.
The weather was fair, so we loved walking along the riverbank, resort pier and playing in the playground. The grounds are beautiful. There are also resort ghost tours with a lantern-wielding guide leading you through all the spooky sites at the resort. We skipped that but would totally do it if our kids were a little older.
And there is always the free resort shuttles to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens and other key Williamsburg locations, which is such a convenience for families.
This was our first visit to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. The lights at the park are dazzling and are the most Christmas lights of any event in North America, eight million! The place was amazing and packed with people yearning to get their Christmas on. Thankfully, Micaela of Go Kid Trips — a Busch Gardens Blog Ambassador — shared some helpful tips for navigating all the awesome.
- Go early! Although the park says that it opens at 2pm, that is when the attractions open. The gates actually open at 1:15pm so you can walk in and line up for your favorite rides and shows before the masses.
- Hit your favorite rides early. Later on the lines will be longer. If you love coasters, ride Verbolten as soon as you can.
- Not all of the Busch Gardens summer rides are open during Christmas Town season; here is a list of the featured attractions.
- See the shows later in the day when the kids’ feet are tired.
Thank Micaela — we would not have survived without you! Follow her on Twitter.
Christmas Town is open through January 3rd.
Confession: We love walking around Colonial Williamsburg, and we rarely purchase the passes. It’s not that we crash or sneak in anywhere, it’s just that our kids are entertained just running the streets, petting horses, exploring the shops and learning from all of the historic reenactments that are open to the public without official tickets.
After breakfast and Mass on Sunday, we had a terrific time walking around Williamsburg before heading on the road home before the kids’ evening swim lessons. Ah, back to the grind.
Want to get away without the kids?
Disclosure: My family and I received a media review version of the Christmas Town Package at Kingsmill. No additional compensation received.